Plans are underway for a new campground on Tagish Lake’s Windy Arm.
The government announced yesterday that it plans to build on a 44.5-hectare park reserve at the foot of Montana Creek, about 13 kilometres southwest of Carcross on the South Klondike Highway.
Meanwhile, Environment Minister Currie Dixon said plans are on hold for another campground on Atlin Lake while the government fights a legal battle with the Taku River Tlingit First Nation.
Plans to put a new campground next to the Conrad historic site have been in discussions for some time, said Dixon.
The small town of Conrad City supported the Venus mine when it operated in the early 1900s and has historical significance, he said.
At peak production, the mill produced 10 tonnes of silver ore concentrate per day.
“The fact that it has historical significance, adding to the fact that it is an exceptionally beautiful site, makes it, I think, an ideal location for a campsite,” Dixon said.
“You have more opportunity for people to go there for things other than just camping. They go there to visit and see the more historic aspects of the site.”
The government plans to spend $734,000 in the upcoming budget on planning, research and construction, Dixon said.
Construction is scheduled to take about a year, beginning in the fall.
The government hopes to have some sites open by next summer with a finalized completion date of spring 2016.
The campground would include RV sites, tent sites, two picnic shelters and a boat launch.
The plan is subject to a review by the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board.
Public meetings to review the plans will be held this summer.
The campground was part of a memorandum of understanding signed by the Carcross/Tagish First Nation and government in December.
“The Carcross/Tagish First Nation welcomes the opportunity to work with the Yukon government on a work plan and construction process for the campground that will support sustainable growth and create jobs for our citizens,” Carcross/Tagish First Nation Kha Shade Heni Danny Cresswell said in a statement.
The First Nation will be given the chance to do the construction work.
“In the CTFN final agreement it says very specifically that if the Yukon government decides to proceed with a public campground at the Conrad site, Yukon shall provide the CTFN with the first opportunity to accept the contract,” Dixon said.
He wasn’t sure how many people would be employed to do the work.
Construction of the Atlin Lake campground was scheduled to start this spring, but it is halted for now, said Dixon.
The B.C.-based Taku River Tlingit First Nation has sued the Yukon government over its plans to build that campground. The case is making its way through the Yukon court system.
“We haven’t taken any action physically in terms of developing that campground as a result of the legal action,” Dixon said.
“So we’re still reviewing our legal options and will be proceeding on the basis of the advice we get from counsel.”
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